Maintaining optimal gynecologic health is a critical part of your overall well-being. Annual exams are essential in this process. OB/GYNs James D. Neal, MD, and Florence Villa Quinata, MD, of Platinum Women’s Health offer yearly well-woman exams to provide pelvic exams, breast exams, and a general health check. To protect your gynecologic health, call one of the offices in Murrieta or Temecula, California, or book an appointment using the online tool.
An annual exam for women involves a pelvic exam, breast exam, physical, and Pap smear. The appointment also provides an opportunity for the team at Platinum Women’s Health to update your health history and your work and life situation in their records.
Annual exams are considered preventive care. Dr. Neal and Dr. Quinata can identify possible irregularities, such as ovarian cysts, before they become symptomatic. The team also ensures you’re up to date with important health screenings, such as mammograms.
Girls benefit from annual exams beginning around age 13-15. These early visits usually don’t include a pelvic exam, but do give girls an opportunity to build a relationship with an OB/GYN and ask questions about sexuality, irregular periods, or other uncomfortable symptoms. A girl may undergo a general physical during her first well-woman exam.
Pap smears are administered to screen for suspicious cells that suggest cervical cancer. If you have a “positive” Pap smear, meaning the presence of abnormal cells was detected, you don’t necessarily have cancer. It simply means you may need to undergo more tests for further evaluation.
To conduct a Pap test, one of the doctors swabs your cervix to collect a small sample of cells, and the cells are sent to a laboratory for evaluation. The Pap test may cause some pressure, but generally takes only seconds and isn’t painful.
Have your first Pap smear by age 21, and then get on a regular schedule as suggested by Dr. Neal and Dr. Quinata.
Dr. Neal or Dr. Quinata review your overall health history and discuss any changes. You’ll also discuss your menstrual cycle and any pain or bleeding. If you do have unusual symptoms, the doctor may order additional blood work or other screening tests.
If you’re sexually active, your annual exam is a good time to bring up the issue of sexually transmitted diseases and request testing. Testing is recommended if you have multiple partners, a new partner, or your partner has had multiple partners.
If you’re due for an annual pelvic exam, make an appointment at Platinum Women’s Health. Call the office nearest you or book using the online tool.